There are countless hashtags floating around the internet that reflect liberals' optimism that Democrats will be able to retake the House of Representatives in 2018: #Bluewave2018, #BlueTsunami, #FlipTheHouse.
In my extensive travels across the country the past few months – particularly to districts that are deemed "toss-up" seats by Washington soothsayers – I have been struck by how much Democratic voters seem to be zeroed in on what they will do once their party regains control of the House: Sunset the Expiring Provisions of the Patriot Act. Roll Back ACHA! Impeach Trump!!
Hashtags notwithstanding, before progressives can put the pedal to the metal on their congressional agenda, they need to understand that the math that puts Democrats back behind the wheel of the House is tricky. And they need to start paying attention to one California congressional race in particular that has been largely off the national radar.
As it stands, the Democratic effort to retake control of the House of Representatives hinges upon the outcomes of just a handful races. At present, Democrats control 193 seats to the Republicans' 238, and there are four vacant seats. This means Democrats will have to pick up 24 seats to hold a one vote majority – 218 vs 217, assuming there are no vacancies.